Date Lab

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Dhonielle: I got my hair done and got to the restaurant early. There was a man [at the hostess stand]. He looked about 50. It was like my worst nightmare. But [it turned out] he was the owner. Trei wasn't there yet.

Trei: I'd been running around the entire day. I got a new shirt, new sunglasses, did my hair -- I have dreadlocks and usually wear my hair back, but I figured for the evening I wanted it down. Then, when I got to the restaurant, I walked around a partition, and she was there, like, Ta-da! The pictures we took later do not do her justice; she's cute. I ran into the table trying to introduce myself.

Dhonielle: He was a little nervous. We joked about it. I thought, He's not 80, and he's pretty fit, so I relaxed.

Trei: I was like, Aww, she's so tiny; I could squish her. And I could look at that face for a long time. For the first 10 minutes, we just talked about who we were, why we did the blind date, those getting-to-know-you questions. Normally, my tactic is to let the other person do all the talking. So I started out just asking her questions.

Dhonielle: I totally called him out on it. It was a flirty, funny thing, like, You're not going to do this. Then the conversation became more of an exchange. He was really friendly and has a really deep voice, like James Earl Jones. And we have a lot in common. [He has] my nerdy interests -- comic books, superheroes, science fiction and fantasy. It was weird, like, What? You're interested in that?

Trei: I thought, Wow, I don't normally have this conversation on a date. And she's a master's student and a writer and just about to finish a children's book, which I thought was amazing. I'm a huge reader.

Dhonielle: I can be indecisive, so the waiter [had to come] over several times. Finally, I ordered two entrees: a steak dish and a chicken dish. I did worry that Trei would think it was strange. I was like, Are you going to blast me in The Washington Post and say your date was a big fatty?

Trei: I thought it was pretty funny. Then when she went to go to the bathroom she picks up this huge cream-colored bag. I was like, The bag is bigger than you are! She's like, Don't judge me. It was gentle ribbing. We have a very similar sense of humor.

Dhonielle: I like a good jab, so I can take it. And he can, too. After we had dessert, I got the sense that maybe he wanted to go do something else. I thought about it, but I had to get up really early the next morning. And sometimes I like to leave things where they are and explore going out again. Sometimes you go on dates, and it's like you can hear crickets because there's nothing to say, but this was a good date. Our conversation was great and we laughed a lot. I'd give it a 4 or 4.5 [out of 5].

Trei: I'd [rate the date] a 4. I'd like to talk to her more. I felt like there wasn't enough time. I didn't say, "I'll call you," because I feel like it's a jinx, but I did say, "I'll be seeing you again." Of course, she said that's contingent on me not slamming her in the article.

Interviews by Christina Breda Antoniades

UPDATE: The two exchanged messages, but a second date was a no-go. "He hasn't asked, and I'm old school; I'm not asking," says Dhonielle. "I found out she was leaving for Japan to teach English," explains Trei. Once again, timing is everything.

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